Guilty verdicts for Harrison duo caught with mobile meth lab

March 7, 2019

By Pat Maurer

Co-Defendants Mark Sherman Caplan and Samuel Polen IV, both from Harrison, Michigan, were found guilty February 28, 2019, after a three-day jury trial in

Mark Caplan

Mark Caplan

the 55th Circuit Court before the Honorable Roy. G. Mienk.

On January 6, 2018, Mobile Medical Response located a running vehicle stopped in the middle of the intersection of Mannsiding Road and Clare Avenue at approximately 3:30am. The co-defendants were both passed out in the vehicle with Caplan in the driver’s seat with his foot on the clutch and the car in first gear.
A deputy from the Clare County Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene at 3:20 a.m. A Clare County deputy dispatched to the scene at 3:20 a.m. that Monday found two men, Polen, 38 and Caplan, 24, in the vehicle. When he tried to wake up the driver, Caplan, he became “combative” until the deputy could restrain him.

Polen, who was a passenger in the vehicle got out and “ran at the deputy.” The officer was able to restrain both men until help arrived.

Samuel Polen IV

Samuel Polen IV

The two men were restrained and arrested. An investigation ultimately culminated in their conviction. The investigation revealed the meth lab and components in the vehicle, a Mercury Cougar, which investigators discovered had been taken from a Harrison residence without permission.

Detectives from the Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (BAYANET) were called to assist in the clean-up of the hazardous material.

Caplan was found guilty of Controlled Substance – Operating/Maintaining a Laboratory involving Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Ephedrine/Pseudoephedrine – Purchase/Possess to Make Methamphetamine, Police Officer – Assaulting/Resisting/Obstructing, Operating While Intoxicated, and Controlled Substance – Use of Methamphetamine.

Caplan was put on notice that he was a habitual 4th offender, which increases the maximum penalty for the methamphetamine laboratory, possession of methamphetamine, and purchase of ephedrine to make methamphetamine to a maximum of life, and the resist and obstruct a police officer verdict will be punished with a maximum of up to 15-years. Operating While Intoxicated and Use of Methamphetamine are both misdemeanors.

Caplan was also a parole absconder at the time of the incident, so he will not receive credit for any time that he has served pending the outcome of the trial and that any sentence imposed in this case will be consecutive to any remaining sentence for the parole violation.

Polen was found guilty of Controlled Substance – Operating/Maintaining a Laboratory Involving Methamphetamine, Controlled Substance – Possession of Methamphetamine, and Controlled Substance – Use of Methamphetamine.

When he was convicted, Polen was put on notice that he would be sentenced as a second or subsequent offender – meaning that he was convicted of these same types of charges previously – and that the maximum sentence would be doubled to 40 years and 20 years respectively. The use of methamphetamine is a misdemeanor.

Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis thanked law enforcement for their hard work on the investigation and. Assistant Prosecutor Mark Webb, who, assigned to all drug prosecutions in the county, handled the case on behalf of the people.

The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced March 28, 2019.

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